Mercedes Exec Details Plans For EQ Sub-Brand
Could the AMG hypercar be badged as an EQ model?by Kirby Garlitos, on
Mercedes-Benz has big plans for its new EQ sub-brand. The German automaker made that point very clear when it unveiled the Generation EQ Concept. But beyond the concept’s outlandish looks and promising powertrain lies an overarching goal to become a market leader in the electric car market, something Jens Thiemer, vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz Cars group, touched on in a conversation with Motor Trend.
According to Thiemer, Mercedes is already planning a long-term layout for the new EQ sub-brand that could end up being the home of as many as 10 new electric vehicles by 2025. Thiemer didn’t bare any details on what kind of models will eventually make up the EQ brand, but he did say that these models will not dilute Mercedes’ other brands. The sub-brand is expected to field vehicles in all volume segments and serve as supplemental models to the traditional models that the company has in its portfolio.
The first of these models is expected to be an SUV, which will be heavily based on the Generation EQ Concept that was unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Even though the automaker said that the production version will closely resemble the concept, expect some notable changes, or at least some modifications to happen before the yet-to-be-named production model hits the market in 2018. From there, the expansion will begin, which could include the Mercedes-AMG hypercar that was also announced in Paris. The hypercar is largely being developed by AMG, but since it’s poised to feature a Formula One hybrid powertrain, there is the possibility of it being badged under the EQ sub-brand to serve as its halo model.
In the meantime, the blueprints for the EQ sub-brand are still being devised, but if there’s one thing we can all count on from Mercedes, it’s that these plans are going to be as ambitious as it gets. After all, the German automaker didn’t earn its status as one of the biggest automakers in the world without swinging for the fences from time to time. The development of the EQ sub-brand counts as one of those times.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
A slow play that leads to a big payoff
It’s easy to look at Mercedes’ electrification plans from a vacuum at this point because there’s still very little history to go back to. But give Mercedes credit for being emphatic with its EV plans moving forward with the creation of the EQ sub-brand. This isn’t just about grabbing headlines; this is about telling the auto world that it’s plans for electrification isn’t just about sprinkling a few models here and there. Mercedes is diving straight into the deep end of the pool with a sub-brand that’s going to line up directly against BMW’s own i division.
It’s a bold move that’s being done slowly and patiently, which at this point is the smart play considering that the first model is still a few years away from its scheduled launch date. The goal is very clear from Mercedes’ perspective and, even if it doesn’t want to admit it at this point, it’s not just gunning for a bigger piece of the pie; it wants the the biggest slice.
That at least explains why the automaker isn’t just going to limit the EQ sub-brand to electric vehicles. Hybrid models could also find themselves under this umbrella and having them be a part of EQ opens the door for the possibility of seeing hybrid performance cars. The upcoming AMG hybrid hypercar, for example, fits into this category, which explains why there have been some whispers that Mercedes is planning to place it under the EQ sub-brand when it hits the market.
Granted, the German automaker still has a lot of moves to make before this picture provides us with the clarity we need to properly identify what the EQ sub-brand’s position is going to be. Rest assured though, the fact that people are talking about all these possibilities is playing right into the automaker’s hands.
Read our full review on the upcoming 2020 Mercedes-AMG Hypercar here.
Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept here.
Source: Motor Trend